Starbucks Bottled Water Exits Parched California

Ethos operation moves temporarily to Pennsylvania
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 8, 2015 2:46 PM CDT
Starbucks Bottled Water Exits Parched California
Matt Damon, co-founder of H20 Africa, appears in a national Ethos Water print advertising campaign encouraging consumers to get involved in raising awareness and funding for the world water crisis.   (PRNewsFoto/Pepsi-Cola North America)

Starbucks will shift its bottled water operation out of California as the state's lengthy drought intensifies. The coffee chain says it will move production of its Ethos water to Pennsylvania for six months while it searches for an alternative West Coast source, NBC News reports. "We are committed to our mission to be a globally responsible company and to support the people of the state of California as they face this unprecedented drought," the company said in a statement. The announcement follows a critical report in Mother Jones that revealed Ethos water came from private springs in Baxter, an area deemed to be in "exceptional drought."

Asked by Mother Jones about concerns surrounding a dwindling water supply for residents, a company rep said Ethos' source "is not used for municipal water for any communities." However, the spring water got bottled in nearby Merced, also under severe drought conditions, and the company used city water as part of the process. The article described how the brand has become a favorite among Hollywood celebs because 5 cents from every bottle goes to the Ethos Water Fund, which works to improve access to water and sanitation abroad. Other bottled water brands, including Nestle, also get their water from California. (Read more Starbucks stories.)

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